Chapter 5 Political Parties by S6y49rm

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									     Chapter 8
Mass Media and Public
      Opinion


                        1
 Section 1—The Formation
     of Public Opinion
• Objectives:
  – Examine the term public opinion and
    understand why it is difficult to define.
  – Analyze how family and education shape
    public opinion.
  – Describe four additional factors that
    shape public opinion.


                                                2
 Section 1—The Formation
     of Public Opinion
• Why It Matters:
  – You no doubt have opinions on a variety
    of issues, from school prayer to which
    political party should be in power.
    Several factors help shape your
    opinions. The two most important
    factors are family and education.



                                              3
 Section 1—The Formation
     of Public Opinion
• Political Dictionary:
  –   Public Affairs
  –   Public Opinion
  –   Mass Media
  –   Peer Group
  –   Opinion Leader



                           4
 Section 1—The Formation
     of Public Opinion
• What Is Public Opinion?
• The distribution of the population’s
  beliefs about politics and policy Is
  very complicated.
  – Different Publics
    • Likely voters or all people
    • Vs. “public affairs”
    • A loose term—hard to define


                                         5
 Section 1—The Formation
     of Public Opinion
• What Is Public Opinion? (cont.)
  – Definition
    • Those attitudes held by a significant
      number of people on matters of government
      and politics.
    • Does not need to be written.




                                                  6
 Section 1—The Formation
     of Public Opinion
• Family and Education
  – Political “socialization” starts at home.
  – The Family
     • A “monopoly” until we are older
     • Children often take the views of their parents
  – The Schools
     • Patriotism
     • History
     • Experiences




                                                        7
 Section 1—The Formation
     of Public Opinion
• Other Factors
  – Your job and issues there
  – Mass Media
    • Television in 98% of homes—many with 2
    • Movies, magazines, radio, Internet, etc.
  – Peer Groups: the friends and colleagues
    you see daily


                                                 8
 Section 1—The Formation
     of Public Opinion
• Other Factors (cont.)
  – Opinion Leaders
    • The President
    • Ministers, doctors, lawyers, talk-radio
  – Historic Events
    • Great Depression, WWII, 9-11,
      assassinations,



                                                9
  Section 2—Measuring
     Public Opinion
• Objectives:
  – Describe the challenges involved in measuring
    public opinion.
  – Explain why scientific opinion polls are the best
    measure of public opinion.
  – Identify five steps in the polling process.
  – Understand the challenge of evaluating polls.
  – Recognize the limits on the impact of public
    opinion in a democracy.



                                                        10
  Section 2—Measuring
     Public Opinion
• Why It Matters:
  – Have you ever responded to a poll?
    Taken a poll yourself? Scientific polls
    are the most effective means for
    measuring public opinion. Other
    measures include election returns, the
    activities of interest groups, and direct
    personal contact.


                                                11
Section 2—Measuring
   Public Opinion
• Political Dictionary:
  –   Mandate
  –   Interest Group
  –   Public Opinion Poll
  –   Straw Vote
  –   Sample
  –   Random Sample
  –   Quota Sample
                            12
 Section 2—Measuring
    Public Opinion
• Measuring Public Opinion
  – Voting, lobbying, books, pamphlets,
    magazine and newspaper articles,
    editorial comments, paid
    advertisements, and letters to the
    editor.
  – Elections—NOT mandates
    • Just “indicators,” not definitive
    • Electorate is just too complex and divided.
    • Not everyone votes
                                                    13
  Section 2—Measuring
     Public Opinion
• Measuring Public Opinion (cont.)
  – Interest Groups
  – The Media—mirrors and molders
  – Personal Contacts




                                     14
  Section 2—Measuring
     Public Opinion
• Polls—The Best Measure
  – Straw Votes—very unreliable
  – Scientific Polling
    • Gallup and Roper in the 1930s
    • Now more than 1,000 organizations
    • Gallup and Harris are most respected




                                             15
Section 2—Measuring
   Public Opinion
• The Polling Process
  – Define the Universe
  – Constructing a Sample
    •   Representative
    •   Randomness—probability sample
    •   1,500 people are interviewed in most polls
    •   Law of Probability—1,500 + or – 3%
  – Quota Sample—used to reflect
    demographics
                                                     16
 Section 2—Measuring
    Public Opinion
• The Polling Process (cont.)
  – Preparing Valid Questions
    • Avoiding emotionally charged words.
  – Interviewing
    • Face to face
    • Telephone/mail
  – Analyze and Report Findings
    • Technology can refine the results
  – “Push” Polling

                                            17
 Section 2—Measuring
    Public Opinion
• Evaluating Polls
  – Intensity—strength of feeling with
    which a response is held.
  – Stability—permanence or changeability
    of the opinion.
  – Relevance—how important is the opinion
    to the person who holds it.
  – Bandwagon Effect—influences the
    result.
                                         18
  Section 2—Measuring
     Public Opinion
• Limits on the Impact of Public
  Opinion.
  – They do not decide elections
  – They do not remove the protections
    built into our Constitution.




                                         19
   Section 3—The Mass
          Media
• Objectives:
  – Examine the role of the mass media in
    providing the public with political
    information.
  – Explain how the mass media influence
    politics.
  – Understand the factors that limit the
    influence of the media.


                                            20
  Section 3—The Mass
         Media
• Why It Matters:
  – How often do you watch television, read
    a newspaper or magazine, listen to the
    radio? While these media provide
    entertainment, they are also our most
    important sources of political
    information.



                                              21
   Section 3—The Mass
          Media
• Political Dictionary:
  – Medium
  – Public agenda
  – Sound bite




                          22
  Section 3—The Mass
         Media
• The Role of Mass Media (from
  “medium”)
  – Television—98%, fewer bathrooms
    • 1,400 stations
    • Major networks plus CNN, PBS, etc.
  – Newspapers—1,500
  – Radio—12,000 stations
  – Magazines—12,000


                                           23
   Section 3—The Mass
          Media
• The Media and Politics
  – The Public Agenda
    • Not “what” to think but what to think
      “about”
  – Electoral Politics
    • Drives coverage
       – Short, interesting
    • Sound bites


                                              24
   Section 3—The Mass
          Media
• Limits on Media Influence
  –   Less than 10% follow news closely
  –   Those who do are often selective
  –   Entertainment shows convey messages
  –   Few public affairs programs
  –   Coverage “skims” news
  –   Becoming informed takes effort


                                            25
Section 3—The Mass
       Media




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